Sunday, July 6, 2008

Piedmont Heart Institute Welcomes Cardiac Disease Specialists

PRNewswire/ -- Cardiac Disease Specialists, P.C. (CDS), is the third major cardiovascular physician group to join the Piedmont Heart Institute (PHI), making PHI Physicians one of the largest groups of cardiovascular specialists in the Southeast. As a group practice under Piedmont Healthcare, CDS has 17 physicians in 11 locations, including Buckhead, Blue Ridge, Dallas, Eatonton, Jasper and Vinings. The CDS Sleep Disorders Center also will become part of the Piedmont Heart Institute.

"The addition of Cardiac Disease Specialists to PHI signifies the coming together of some of the best and the brightest cardiovascular physicians in the field, complementing the membership of ACG and COG," said Michele M. Molden, president and CEO of the Piedmont Heart Institute.

"The physicians with Cardiac Disease Specialists began serving patients in the metro area in 1980 and have become leaders in resolving cardiac problems for the greater Georgia community," she continued. "We are proud to have this distinguished group of cardiac specialists join us and look forward to their involvement in the leadership and direction of the Piedmont Heart Institute."

Seven months ago, the Atlanta Cardiology Group (ACG), a 25-member cardiovascular physician specialty group became the first practice to join the Piedmont Heart Institute. In April, Cardiology of Georgia (COG), which includes 20 cardiovascular specialists, announced it was becoming part of the PHI.

The Piedmont Heart Institute, the first of its kind affiliated with a community hospital system in greater Atlanta, includes more than 60 cardiovascular specialists and continues to initiate new programs in cardiovascular research, education and excellence in prevention, arrhythmias, coronary and vascular intervention, stroke and cardiac imaging. It brings together prominent cardiovascular physician groups with one of the premier cardiac centers in the region, Fuqua Heart Center of Atlanta at Piedmont Hospital. Piedmont Hospital was recently named Best in Atlanta for Overall Cardiac Care and Cardiac Surgery (2008) by HealthGrades(R), the leading healthcare ratings organization.

"Cardiac Disease Specialists has a long heritage at Piedmont," said Harold D. Carlson, M.D., managing partner of CDS, "and we have always been committed to the delivery of high quality cardiovascular care. Our alignment with the Piedmont Heart Institute continues our legacy of care, while providing our physicians and patients with high quality healthcare services."

Seeking further alignment of the physicians and our hospitals, the Piedmont Heart Institute has implemented a new care delivery model in Atlanta that eliminates the barriers to working more closely together and creates a platform where leadership is shared with enhanced care and services for the community. This fully integrated financial model will ultimately improve the patient experience, care efficiencies, quality and outcomes.

Since the mid-1960s, Piedmont Hospital has continued to earn recognition as a leader in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Piedmont was one of Georgia's first hospitals to establish a dedicated coronary care unit (CCU), the first to hire a full-time director of a community CCU, and one of the first in the country to use telemetry monitors throughout the hospital. Piedmont has successfully developed cardiac catheterization, interventional cardiology, comprehensive electrophysiology and arrhythmia services, advanced heart failure management, open-heart surgery, and peripheral vascular services. This expertise culminated in 1994 with the centralization of services at the Fuqua Heart Center of Atlanta at Piedmont Hospital and influenced the development of exceptional cardiac programs at the other Piedmont hospitals as well.

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